Shirt sponsors can prove a lucrative way for Premier League clubs to bring in some revenue as teams look to stay on the right side of Financial Fair Play to allow them to compete in the transfer market.
One noticeable factor from Chelsea’s clash with Luton Town on Friday night was the lack of sponsor on the front of their kit - a less than ideal scenario given the club’s excessive transfer spend over the last 12 or so months.
Chelsea were sponsored by mobile telecommunications company Three last season, in a deal that saw them net a reported £40m a year. With Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City all pocketing at least £48m from their shirt sponsors - it is less than ideal for the Blues to enter the new season without a sponsor.
Why don’t Chelsea have a sponsor?
The club’s ownership ditched their partnership with Three to seek a more lucrative sponsorship to raise their revenue. The Blues had hoped to agree a deal with streaming service Paramount+ but saw this blocked by the Premier League due to a potential issue with one of their broadcast partners.
Paramount+ are a competitor of NBC, who are the rights holders for Premier League coverage in the USA. It is reported the top flight decision makers believed it was something which could cause issues.
Chelsea then held talks with gambling firm Stake but pulled out of the deal with gambling sponsors set to be outlawed from the start of the 2026-27 season. It was a decision collectively agreed by clubs in April this year.
A Premier League statement released in April read: “Premier League clubs have today collectively agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of clubs’ matchday shirts, becoming the first sports league in the UK to take such a measure voluntarily in order to reduce gambling advertising.
“The announcement follows an extensive consultation involving the League, its clubs and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s ongoing review of current gambling legislation. The Premier League is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.
“To assist clubs with their transition away from shirt-front gambling sponsorship, the collective agreement will begin at the end of the 2025/26 season.”
Chelsea are yet to find a sponsor and have been without one since kicking off their Premier League campaign against Liverpool earlier this month. An adult subscription site named My.Club have publicly offered to become the club’s shirt sponsor but there has been no indication of the Blues willing to accept the offer which is reported to be worth £40m a year.